Tell me more about your relationship with public lands. What do they mean to you?

I grew up in and around the ocean and continue to spend the bulk of my days there. It saddens me in a lot of ways how people are treating the environment, from dumping waste to not advocating on its behalf. Without advocating for public lands we won’t have a healthy ecosystem, it’s as simple as that.

Shadow on some pavement of a silhouette of a man holding a surfboard

How has learning about the environment impacted your actions?

I love sea life and still am always learning how what we do on land impacts what happens in the water. From cattle farming to our tragic love affair with plastics that seem to make their way into everything in the sea I try and be informed. I attempt to collaborate and do work with brands and organizations that address these issues.

What can concerned athletes, scientists, artists, or creatives do in the face of global challenges?

Get informed, but also look at where your things are coming from. Ask questions. And then if you can make some changes — even if they seem small I personally feel that habit changes help you and impact our planet.

How important is mitigating climate change to your life?

It’s important because as I said I am a coastal dwelling person. So I see the effects first hand and it’s not something that is going to change without addressing. Changing coastline and beaches are an undeniable representation of how serious this issue is.

Can you tell us a bit about your passions beyond “work”?

I am hoping to say that what I do for work is somewhat my passion, which perhaps sounds lame or whatever, but I do genuinely like making art and designing. I love surfing and good food and spending time traveling. but all of these things play into one another.

Volkswagon van with the next to the beach with blue skies
Man holding up an art print
Man drawing some art onto a surfboard

Do you find that these passions blend, merge, or complement your work?

Yep — without one the others don’t really work. If I’m not able to be in the ocean, chances are that I am a stress case, which doesn’t work out.

Do you find these passions tied to given environments or landscapes?

The ocean — forever.

Surfer looking out at the beach through some Nocs binoculars

How do you give back to your community or to the underserved?

Thoughtful groups like Surfrider and Save The Waves have been good organizations to align with, as well as doing design work with smarter brands like Patagonia. On a personal level, I try and donate when I can to local and national humanitarian groups because the environment isn’t just trees and streams…it’s also people.

What are your materials and how do you think about them?

Whatever is on hand, paint, pencils, glue sticks, etc.

Is there a specific moment in life or a series of events that instilled in you a passion for your craft or passions?

I have creative parents so I was very fortunate in that sense. I think growing up around the ocean and lots of travel made a path that I didn’t really know was shaping me until maybe I caught my reflection a few years ago.

At the end of the day, why do you do your craft? Are there goals ahead, a constant love for the process, or a yearning to learn more?

I like making people smile, I genuinely love building my community and traveling. If I can keep this up until I’m dirt I would like that to be the plan. And maybe tread lightly in the process, of course.

Do you have any “heroes’’ to speak of? How are you inspired?

I love classic style whether it be old surfing heroes or artists or musicians…and I suppose that would be a long list but I think my heroes are the people that hit that “flow state” and make it look pleasant.

Art print made by Ty williams
Art print made by Ty williams
Art print made by Ty williams

A key ingredient to building a sustainable future?

Knowing the luxury of enough and then sharing.

A book that shaped your life?

National Geographic.

Who inspires you today?

My Father — he can make a living dwelling out of almost nothing.

Favorite artist currently?

My partner Jasmine.

A book that shaped your life?

National Geographic.

Most sublime moment in nature?

Either swimming with manatees or riding a wave for my first time

Who taught you something significant?

My first-grade teacher Mrs. Dorothy taught me to read, and that’s helped over the years.

Sunset photography of a srufer on the water, looking out at a moon rising

Any big moments of Zen in the outdoors?

When my phone battery dies.

What have been your biggest challenges?

Getting my phone battery to die.

Who has helped you along the way?

How did they help? my parents mostly by not killing me over the years.

What do you do when you get out and away from the office/lab?

I love a walk, and this year has really been a good one for just the simplicity of walking.

How can the outdoor industry change?

Make less, and what they do make, make it last.

What other brands do you love?

Patagonia, Need Essentials, Banks Journal.

What keeps you going?

Green juice and anxiety.

Do you have a mantra?

Don’t throw that out, I’ll still eat it.

A personal style?

Jimmy Buffet goes to Japan or Denmark.